Storm in a thimble
Fact: Last Thursday councillors on the services committee voted by 9-8 in favour of an independent review of the siting of the proposed new Anderson High School, to focus on whether the Knab or Clickimin would be the best and most economical place to build over the school’s lifespan.
Fact: As chairman of the services committee, councillor Gussie Angus was charged with the responsibility of finding a surveyor to carry out the review. In accordance with usual practice, he turned to officials, principally chief executive David Clark.
Fact: At a media briefing on Tuesday afternoon of this week Hazel Sutherland, deputy chief executive, said Mr Clark would be working with Mr Angus to appoint “suitably qualified external folk” to carry out the work before drawing it together to present to councillors. She did not, as some have wrongly reported, say that he himself would be carrying out the review.
Fact: By Wednesday Mr Clark had recommended a former business associate, whom Mr Angus accepted was a “five-star” building surveyor with additional skills in conflict resolution. A statement was duly issued in Mr Angus’s name stating that the appointment had been made.
Fact: Despite a claim by councillor Jonathan Wills that Mr Angus was unhappy with the appointment, Mr Angus told The Shetland Times on Thursday that he was happy with it. “Everyone is an associate of someone,” he said.
Fact: Most other councillors contacted by this newspaper yesterday were content with the appointment.
Plea: For the sake of the schoolchildren of Shetland, present and future, can we let Andrew Laidler get on with his review, accept his conclusions and get on with the project. We have only been waiting 20 years.
Good luck to all our competitors at the Island Games in Åland!